The central defender believes Jordan present a dangerous attacking threat, and that the Socceroos' ability to maintain concentration was key to a result
|By DEJAN KALINIC
Australia defender Sasa Ognenovski has called on his team to stay focused ahead of their important AFC 2014 World Cup qualifier against Jordan on Tuesday [Wednesday morning in Australia].
The Umm Salal defender will play a key role in the centre of defence alongside captain Lucas Neill in the encounter.
Ognenovski, who moved from South Korea in July after a stellar three-year stint with Korean side Seongnam, said he had brought information about Jordan with him from Qatar.
"From what I've heard about them coming out of Qatar is that they're a very strong team," Ognenovski said.
"They've got a great forward structure – that gives most teams headaches.
"That's obviously some good information that we got and we can use that and make sure we're focused and ready for anything they throw at us."
Ognenovski said the different factors in the Middle East – including the hot conditions – needed to be met with excellent concentration by the Socceroos.
"I think when you come to this region we usually come in and we're really focused because there's all these factors that you throw in – the heat and sometimes the grounds aren't the best," he said.
"So you really, really try and concentrate and make sure you eliminate any weaknesses that might be.
"I think that's probably the main reason why we tend to not concede over here.
"When you're playing at home, you're a bit more free, there's a bit more freedom, you really want to take the game on and stuff.
"But when you're over here you know what you've got to do and you've really got to knuckle down and concentrate and make sure everything is done right."
Ognenovski moved to Korea after an excellent season with Adelaide United in the A-League and helped Seongnam to the AFC Champions League crown in 2010, winning the competition's Most Valuable Player award.
But the 33-year-old centre-back said his move to Umm Salal was a fresh challenge he was looking forward to.
"It's been good. It's been refreshing. It's different to Korea," Ognenovski said.
"In some ways, it's more professional. The setups within the clubs, within the fitness side of things, the physio side of things, it's a lot better than what Korea was.
"I'm yet to taste what the league is like. We have played a pre-season cup and it's quite hot so the games are quite slow but the level was quite good."